Tammy Duckworth

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Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth.jpg
U.S. House, Illinois, District 8
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorJoe Walsh (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$5,309,495
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Hawaii
Master'sGeorge Washington University
Military service
Service/branchIllinois Army National Guard
Years of service1992-Present
Date of birthMarch 12, 1968
Place of birthBangkok, Thailand
Net worth$471,022
Office website
Campaign website
Tammy Duckworth campaign logo
Tammy Duckworth (b. March 12, 1968, in Bangkok, Thailand) is a Democratic U.S. House member, representing the 8th Congressional District of Illinois. She was first elected to the U.S. House in 2012.[1]

Duckworth secured the backing of most Illinois influential political figures in the 2012 Democratic primary against Raja Krishnamoorthi.[2] She won the general election on November 6, 2012.[3]

Duckworth is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Frontline" program.[4][5]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Duckworth is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning she will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Duckworth is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and received a Masters of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University. [1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Duckworth's professional and political career[6]

  • 2013-Present: U.S. House, District 8
  • 2009-2011: Assistant secretary, U.S. Veterans Affairs Department
  • 2006-2009: Director, Illinois Veterans Affairs Department
  • 2003-2004: Manager, Rotary International
  • 1992-Present: Army National Guard


Campaign themes


According to Duckworth's website, her campaign themes included:

  • Economy: "Small businesses are critical to the success of our economy. Without the ingenuity and determination that small businesses exhibit everyday in the 8th District, our economy could not thrive."
  • Education: "Education is a valuable resource that we need to invest in now to bolster our economic future. We need to invest in our public schools to make them better and more competitive."
  • Energy: "We need to think creatively about how to build an economy that is less dependent on foreign oil and instead champions American clean energy innovations. We need to build the foundation for a clean energy economy."[7]

Situation in Syria

On August 30, 2013, Duckworth wrote a response to the situation in Syria that appeared on the Daily Kos.[8] In the article she said, "Syria is undergoing a humanitarian crisis. While the United States cannot stand by as innocent civilians are being massacred, it's my responsibility as a Member of Congress to make sure we don't commit resources, the most precious of which are our men and women in uniform, with no comprehensive plan for our involvement.

While I support the President's authority to initiate action since he was elected by this nation and in light of the divisiveness in Congress today, I will have tough questions for the Administration should they intervene prior to Congressional approval.

In the days ahead I will be seeking more information from our military and intelligence communities. But until I feel it's imperative to our national security, I will not support preemptive intervention in Syria.

America shouldn't bear the burden unilaterally, especially since none of our allies, including those in the region, have committed to action.

It's military families like mine that are the first to bleed when our nation makes this kind of commitment. It's my obligation to make sure our government honors our troops willingness to sacrifice when we make such a decision."[8]

Immigration reform bill

On her website in August 2013, Duckworth posted an appeal to voters to add their names to a petition to urge House action on immigration reform.[9][10].

In her appeal she said, "I am a daughter of the American Revolution and my mom is an immigrant who proudly became a citizen in her 50s. Since coming to America, she has watched her two children serve in our nation's military and seen me elected to the United States Congress. So many of the families in my district have stories like my mom's, about immigrants who moved here to be reunited with family or to provide a better life for their children. Like my mom, they wish to become full citizens of the country they love.

That's why I'm teaming up with my neighboring members of Congress, Brad Schneider and Bill Foster, who also represent districts with large numbers of immigrants, to advocate for an immigration system that works for our constituents.

While the Senate has passed comprehensive legislation, John Boehner and the GOP House leadership want to divide up immigration into several different bills rather than agree on one comprehensive solution. That won't work for the people in my district. To fix our broken immigration system, we need a solution that secures our border and provides a pathway to citizenship for those who hope to pursue the American Dream.

While we're in our districts this month, Brad, Bill and I have held a joint press conference to build support for comprehensive reform. We're also talking with our constituents about what reform would mean for them."[10]

Shaming of witness for Claiming Veterans Disability

Rep. Duckworth Deplores Witness for Claiming Veterans Disability on June 26, 2013

In a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on June 26, 2013, Duckworth questioned and gave an earful to businessman Braulio Castillo.[11] Castillo broke his foot in a prep school injury nearly three decades ago at the U.S. Military Preparatory School, which he attended for nine months before playing football in college. He owns a technology business certified as a service-disabled, veteran-owned company eligible for government set aside contracts.[11]

The hearing came after months of investigation by a House probe into whether Castillo’s company won IRS contracts thanks, in part, to help from a top contracting official and friend inside the IRS named Greg Roseman, who pleaded the Fifth Amendment when called to testify.[12]

Castillo's VA doctors gave him a 30 percent disabled rating even though he never saw combat, about which Duckworth was not pleased as her own injuries sustained were only a 20 percent disabled rating.[11]

Before entering politics, Duckworth was a helicopter pilot in the Army.[11] In November 2004, the Black Hawk she was flying was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and as a result she lost both legs, and nearly lost her right arm.[11] After returning to the U.S. and undergoing rehab, she became director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and later assistant secretary in the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.[11]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Duckworth serves on the following committees:[13]



See also: Illinois' 8th congressional district elections, 2014

Duckworth is set to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 2014. If she runs, she will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election.The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Illinois' 8th congressional district elections, 2012

Duckworth defeated incumbent Joe Walsh.[14] Duckworth ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Illinois' 8th District. Duckworth had sought the nomination on the Democratic ticket. [15] The signature filing deadline was December 27, 2011, with the primary taking place on March 20, 2012. Incumbent Joe Walsh had sought re-election on the Republican ticket.

U.S. House, Illinois District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Duckworth 54.7% 123,206
     Republican Joe Walsh Incumbent 45.3% 101,860
     Independent Robert Gregory Canfield 0% 0
Total Votes 225,066
Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"
U.S. House, Illinois District 8 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Duckworth 66.6% 16,991
Raja Krishnamoorthi 33.4% 8,519
Total Votes 25,510

Duckworth defeated Raja Krishnamoorthi in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012.[3] Incumbent Joe Walsh ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Duckworth defeated Walsh in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Duckworth had secured the backing of most of Illinois' influential political figures in the Democratic primary against Raja Krishnamoorthi.[2] The two were vying to take on Joe Walsh in the "Democratic-leaning, suburban Chicago district",[2] and the winner was the likely favorite in the general election.[2]

Duckworth had endorsements from Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Obama advisor David Axelrod.[2] Krishnamoorthi is supported by Danny K. Davis and Cook County Board Chair Toni Preckwinkle.[2]



8th Congressional District Race
Poll Tammy Duckworth Joe WalshUndecidedSample Size
"2012 District 8 Poll" September 18-20
"Illinois 8th Congressional District Poll" October 25-26
AVERAGES 53% 39% 7.5% 504
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Duckworth is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Duckworth raised a total of $5,309,495 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 5, 2013.[16]

Tammy Duckworth's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Illinois, District 8) Won $5,309,495
Grand Total Raised $5,309,495


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Duckworth's reports.[17]

Tammy Duckworth (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[18]4/15/2013$100,803.86$352,544.09$(169,490.43)$283,857.52
July Quarterly[19]7/15/2013$283,857.52$327,127.03$(97,009.73)$513,974.82
Running totals

Duckworth was a top freshman fundraiser in the 113th congress as a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Frontline" program.[20][21]


Breakdown of the source of Duckworth's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Duckworth won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Duckworth's campaign committee raised a total of $5,309,495 and spent $5,208,691.[22] This is more than the average $1.5 million spent by House winners in 2012.[23]

Cost per vote

Duckworth spent $42.28 per vote received in 2012.

According to a report on July 12, 2012, Duckworth raised $886,000 in the second quarter.[24]

Duckworth raised over $1.5 million in the third quarter.[25] On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth outraised Republican incumbent Joe Walsh in the third quarter. Duckworth raised $1,508,000 and has $763,000 cash-on-hand to Walsh's $254,000 in fundraising and $592,000 cash-on-hand.[26]


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking


Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Duckworth is a "centrist Democrat," as of June 17, 2013.[27]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[28]

Duckworth most often votes with:

Duckworth least often votes with:

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Information on 2012 vote rating is unavailable.

Lifetime missed votes

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Duckworth missed 0 of 89 roll call votes from Jan 2013 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 0.0%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[29]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Duckworth's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $18,046 and $923,998. That averages to $471,022, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874.[30]

Voting with party


Tammy Duckworth voted with the Democratic Party 92.8% of the time, which ranked 149th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[31]


On November 12th, 2004, while serving in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, Duckworth's helicopter was hit by an RPG. Duckworth lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm in the explosion, and was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries. [1] Duckworth and her husband Bryan, an Army Major, live in Hoffman Estates where their home was rebuilt for wheelchair access in 2005 by her fellow soldiers and friends. Despite her injuries, she continues to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard. [1]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Tammy + Duckworth + Illinois + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tammy Duckworth for Congress "About Tammy" Accessed January 14, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The Hill "Illinois House races heating up" Accessed March 12, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 ABC News 7 "Election Results Primary 2012" Accessed March 20, 2012
  4. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" Accessed May 13, 2013
  5. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" Accessed May 13, 2013
  6. National Journal, "Illinois, 8th House District," November 6, 2012
  7. Tammy Duckworth for Congress, "Issues," Accessed September 27, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 Daily Kos, "Tammy Duckworth on Syria," accessed August 30, 2013
  9. Tammy Duckworth.com, "Tell House Republicans to pass comprehensive immigration reform," accessed August 28, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 Daily Kos, "IL-08: Tammy Duckworth (D) Puts The Pressure On House Republicans To Pass Immigration Reform," accessed August 28, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 The Atlantic "Tammy Duckworth's Impassioned Shaming of a Faux-Disabled Vet" Accessed June 27, 2013
  12. Military Times "‘Shame on you,’ disabled vet Duckworth grills IRS contractor" Accessed June 27, 2013
  13. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  14. Politico "2012 Election Map, Illinois"
  15. Chicago Tribune "Duckworth to file for congressional race" Accessed December 5, 2011
  16. Open Secrets "Tammy Duckworth" Accessed April 5, 2013
  17. Federal Election Commission "Tammy Duckworth 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 24, 2013
  18. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly" Accessed July 24, 2013
  19. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly" Accessed July 24, 2013
  20. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" Accessed May 13, 2013
  21. Boston Globe "For freshman in Congress, focus is on raising money" Accessed May 13, 2013
  22. Open Secrets "Tammy Duckworth 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 22, 2013
  23. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
  24. Tammy Duckworth "Duckworth Breaks One Million Raised For General Election" Accessed July 17, 2012
  25. Tammy Duckworth's campaign website
  26. Daily Kos "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
  27. Gov Track "Tammy Duckworth" Accessed June 17, 2013
  28. OpenCongress, "Rep. Tammy Duckworth," Accessed August 1, 2013
  29. GovTrack, "Tammy Duckworth," Accessed April 1, 2013
  30. OpenSecrets.org, "Duckworth (D-Ill), 2011"
  31. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Walsh (R)
U.S. House of Representatives - Illinois, District 8
Succeeded by